The Propa way…how to have your cake and eat it too!

When I was dedicated to my gym and healthy lifestyle routine I would often crave desserts and chocolate in particular. Then the wonder of social media stepped in and one day I noticed this highly Instagrammable chocolate dessert cup being posted online by fitness enthusiasts and socialites alike. I couldn’t resist clicking on the @propafoodbar handle to find out more. You can imagine my excitement when I discovered that this product was produced with the idea of being healthy in mind. I decided to place my order and I fetched my propa smoothie from Healthy in Umhlanga the very next day. If there’s anything you need to know about me is that I am extremely brand loyal with a soft spot for local startups. After tasting my very first smoothie I knew this was a brand that would grow to enormous success. I also knew that I had become a huge fan of the taste and attention to detail that went into preparing these beautiful creations. The chocolate smoothies are my favourite and they leave me with the satisfaction that I get when I eat chocolate.

When I decided to relaunch CrazyRio, I decided that it was time we learnt more about the lady behind the brand and how it all began. Good people… let me introduce you to Stephanie Wills! The name and face behind the brand. Here are a few questions we posed to her to get to know her better. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as we did.

Please can you tell us what sparked the idea to get you started?
Propa began completely by accident really… I had been playing around with layered/stacked smoothies and smoothie bowls shortly after my second son was born. A friend had seen one of them (that I had posted on instagram) and asked if I could make ten of them for a special staff meeting! Needless to say they were a huge hit and right then and there we created all the social media pages. Luckily my husband had already designed the brand (even though it was meant to be for a mobile coffee shop)

In a short paragraph, please tell us about your business and some of the incredible milestones you have achieved thus far?We specialise in gourmet, layered smoothies that can be eaten as a meal replacement or even as a healthy treat. I used to make 10 a week and now (two and a half years later) we make hundreds! And gratefully I say “we.” What started as a small home-industry business has grown exponentially to the point now where we are a team of five and have our own factory space to handle the ever-increasing scale of production.

What makes your product special?

Each smoothie is hand-made from scratch as well as being dairy-free, refined sugar-free, gluten-free and all natural (no added preservatives/colourants/additives). The consistency is thick like a pudding and needs to be eaten with a spoon. We always balance the nutritionals (fat/protein/carbs) so that each one can be eaten as a meal. They can also be frozen so you can keep a whole bunch at home in your freezer. Nothing better than having a grab and go meal on hand!

Where can customers purchase your products / how can they place orders?

We have several retailers that stock our smoothies from Ballito to Hillcrest – all of which are listed on our social media platforms. And each week we add more so everyone can get their Propa fix. In terms of our weekly specials these are only available on order direct from me (Steph). To place an order simply send a whatsapp to 072 463 9512 with how many you want and where you’d like to collect from: Lifestyle Health, Ballito (Monday-Saturday) or Healthy, Umhlanga (Friday) or Health on Broadway, Durban North (Monday)

Do you cater for vegans?
Yes. All our products are vegan friendly.

Are any of your products Banting friendly?
Our smoothies are paleo friendly however when it comes to banting it depends on how many carbs your diet allows and whether you include fruit or not. We do use banana and fruit in our smoothies however we also have smoothies that are banana-free and more veggie-based (with avocado, sweet potato etc)

What is your best seller?
Our Propa PB. Which is a layered chocolate and peanut butter smoothie. So good! It is also the first smoothie we retailed.

Which is your personal favourite and why?
Tough question! Probably our Propa Peppermint crisp or Propa Carrot Cake… or Propa Blueberry Matcha or our Propa No-B (no banana smoothie) ahhhh I honestly cant decide! I love them all!

What is the price range of your products?
Each smoothie is R60 for a 250mls cup

In a paragraph, tell us a bit about yourself as we would love to get to know the face behind the brand.
I am obviously obsessed with smoothies! I especially love making healthy food taste delicious as well as look beautiful. I am also happily married to my best friend and we have two beautiful boys (aged 5 and 3). Before I had kids and started Propa I studied fine art at university but found my career path in the heath industry. I studied nutrition and managed Lifestyle Health shop with my mom Judy for over 12 years. I also love yoga, running, anything creative, laughing, tea and spending time with my family and friends (and even better when its on the beach!) Think that pretty much sums me up!?

To follow the Propa journey you can find them on social media as:

Instagram: @propafoodbar

Facebook: Propa Food Bar

Getting To Know Kate Turkington!

I was on a girls retreat in the beautiful KZN Midlands, when I met Kate Turkington. Although generations apart, I recognised so much of me in her, that it ignited an instant friendship! It is not very often that this happens to me and I am so glad that it did. Fast forward to a month later and I find myself visiting Kate (at her house!). By this time, I have done adequate research to realise just how knowledgable, well-travelled and famous she really is! I had to keep my excitement contained. The conversation flows easily between us, as we talk the usual girl talk. I have realised that women connect easily. We are able to bond over the responsibilities that life sets for us and although our stories may be different, we sing to the same tune on so many levels!

I left Kate’s home with a signed copy of her latest book ‘YES, REALLY! A Life’ and I could not wait to get reading. I did not realise how much more this book would bind our friendship. After readng this, I have rejoiced in the adventures that bring these pages to life. I was able to feel the pain of all the difficulties endured on the way but most of all it is a book that inspires me to live my life and to live it well! It is a novel that does not sugar coat on how we shoould do things but instead encourages us to live our lives so that we can tell our own stories one day.

I could go on and on but that would mean me giving away more than I should. I do suggest you get yourself a copy and let us know whether you felt it as powerful a read as I did! It is available for purchase on takealot and other bookstores, nationwide.

In this time Kate has earned a place in my heart as one of my very dear friends so I thought a feature on this book is simply not enough to commemorate this Icon of a lady. I have sent Kate some fun questions to  answer so that we could all get better acquainted. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Thank you Kate, for being such a good sport with these answers!

  • Introduce yourself in one sentence.

I’m Kate Turkington, often called ‘legendary’ by fans because of my teaching days at Wits and thousands of TV and radio broadcasts over 50 years.

  • In your opinion, what was your claim to fame?

My teaching days at Wits and thousands of TV and radio broadcasts over 50 years.

  • What do you think is the single thing that is most wrong with the world right now?

Ignorance and poverty.

  • Childhood celebrity crush?

Clarke Gable. (Nobody today will know that name but he was the star of one of the most famous movies of all time ‘Gone With The Wind’.)

  • The place you love most in the world?

Home. (Followed by India as my favourite destination.)

  • What is your motto in life?

Carpe Diem – Seize the day and live every day to the full. The past is gone and the future never comes. 

  • How do you inspire people?

By being a role model – travelling, writing, moving, shaking and having a wonderful family of four children and nine grandchildren all of whom – wait for it – live in Johannesburg too.

  • Do you sing in the shower?

No

  • What would you regard your number 1 hit?

Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’.

  • Dogs or cats?

Dogs.

  • Favourite food?

Fish and Chips.

  • Do you believe in ghosts?

No. Although I once lived in a haunted house in the wilds of Nigeria and my two children at the time saw the ghost often. (Read all about it in my latest book – ‘Yes, Really!’)

  • What is your job title?

Anything and everything.

  • What inspired you to choose this career path?

Nothing inspired me. Except, I’ll always make and take opportunities. I was a guest on a BBC TV show in the UK and was asked subsequently if I’d like a TV talkshow of my own.

  • Career highlight to date?

Too many to mention – lots of accolades and awards – but I’ve enjoyed every moment of communicating with other people.

  • Who is the most famous person you have met?

Again, too many to mention. Mmm… maybe the Queen, The Beatles and the Dalai Lama?

  • Your advice to your younger self?

Do it all again… 

  • If you could have dinner with absolutely anyone (dead or alive), who would it be and why?

William Shakespeare.

  • A memory from your life that makes you giggle?

When I was almost kidnapped by heavily armed Afar tribesmen in the Rift Valley of Ethiopia.

  • Who inspires you?

My family, friends and myself.

  • If you won 100 million dollars today, what would you do?

Give it away.

Kalank – A review by Bollywood movie connoisseur Varshan Sookhun.

The biggest problem with Kalank is that it tries too hard to emulate Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s cinematic vision. Kite flying, loud-tragic endings, elaborate costumes/set pieces. He’s done it all … and Karan Johar does it so unmistakeably!That, including the misfitting scenarios “First Class”, “Aira Gaira” and a CG domineered animal fight (the Ben Hur type) is literally a load of bull !
These spoils including a problematic screenplay and pace distance Kalank from a masterpiece tag despite having many qualifying ingredients to make it epic.The story celebrates eternal love and is set against an intense contempo 1940’s Indo-Pak pre-partition backdrop. Everything here is larger-than-life, grand scale, opulent and a treat to senses. Even the downtown ‘kothas’ have more glitter than a Ratan Tata mansion.The actors deliver punchy dialogue written in poetic prose. Giving their performances an opera-ish theatric feel. The entire ensemble is in superb acting form!
A special mention of Varun-Alia who bring a fiercely burning passion to the ‘telenovela’ styled narrative loaded with DRAMA.My Verdict
A visually entrancing collective of old and new Bollywood most immodest artistic form. Watch out for the riveting, shocking and tragedy-soaked climax. It’s sure to make you take home the sentiment exchanged between the love-lorn characters.My Rating : 8/10

Knorrox Cash Cow Campaign.

Nine chances to “win a cow” investment with local food brand

“Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world. The power of education extends beyond the development of skills we need for economic success. It can contribute to nation-building and reconciliation” – Nelson Mandela

Education is at the heart of Knorrox’s new competition, the Knorrox Cash Cow. The campaign, which will be launched this month (April 2019), is aimed at empowering South Africans, especially women, and educating them about the power of investing and saving through livestock.

“The community and South African women are at the heart and soul of Knorrox as a brand. In order to empower and educate South Africans about investing, we are giving away nine opportunities, valued at up to R10 000.00 (ten thousand Rand) each, to invest in livestock wealth” says Mbali Ndlovu, Brand Lead for Knorrox. “We are doing this to give back and support members of our communities who have used Knorrox for years in their homes.”

“We have partnered with Livestock Wealth, the South African crowd-farming company that enables anyone to become a farmer by investing in high-value agricultural products over a fixed term,” adds Ndlovu.

Crowd-farmingTM is a trademark of Livestock Wealth uses to describe their platform that links farmers with ordinary people who want to invest in agriculture. This initiative offers a modern take on traditional cattle farming, where one gets to invest in a sustainable farm through buying a cow, watching it grow and reaping the reward on your investment.

During the campaign period, many South African consumers will be educated about investing, mainly through livestock. This education will take place nationally via radio, store activations and digital platforms.

Nicolette Mashile, an entrepreneur and media personality, will be joining the campaign to educate consumers on radio and via social media. Mashile is the founder of Financial Fitness Bunnies, a Financial Education initiative. She describes herself as being a social entrepreneur who believes in people development and advancement. With a passion for Financial Education, she hopes to “Level Up” fellow African Financial Literacy.

To find out more about the Knorrox Cash Cow campaign and competition and how to enter, please visit www.knorrox.co.za or the Brand’s Facebook page. Listen out for Knorrox Cash Cow on your local radio station as well as visiting your nearest supermarket to find out more.

Laser Rush @ Sugar Rush Park

Last week a group of moms decided to have a bit of fun so off we went to play a round of laser tag and archery at Sugar Rush Park. I really need not write anymore on this event because honestly the pics speak for themselves. We had the best time, laughing and chatting and most of all just connecting. We were treated to superb hospitality by The Digs kitchen with their specialty focaccia breads. Laser Rush Ballito, are officially open to take moms morning out bookings, girls days out or just a fun team building with family and friends.
When I first learnt the prices I was surprised because I expected it to be very expensive but it is actually really affordable and it promises a fun, active session out!Here are the details:Laser Rush

Ages 5 and over

R70 for 3omins

R120 for 60mins

Rushing Arrows

Ages 8 and over

R70 – 30 mins

R120- 60 mins

You can also buy a combo for R120 for 30mins of each.

Open from Tuesday – Sunday ( Mondays during school holidays)
For more information you can visit their page on Instagram: @laserrushballito
























Travel Diaries! – A Reader’s Adventure.

This was sent in by a fellow reader, so enjoy this read and pictures of their personal highlights and favourite things to see. Have you had some exciting travels that you’d like to share? Feel free to send in your experiences along with pictures for it to be featured to ellie@crazyrio.com

A place where it feels like the sun never sets and the nights never end. Rewind to June/July 2018, Summer in Europe, more specifically Italy, France & Spain. Bucket-list destinations. For many people a trip overseas is never really filled with relaxing days, instead people try to cram as much touring and sightseeing in as possible in their time away. However, if you slow down and just soak in the beauty of these countries, the people and the culture, you will almost instantly understand why people keep going back to these destinations. The rich history is surely one of the most attractive features about these places. Here are a few of my favourite sights to see! Tours of the Colosseum and the numerous Basilica’s (St. Peter’s Basilica, if you are only going to do one!) will definitely be worth your time! One of the most popular attractions, Fontaine de Trevi (Trevi Fountain) is definitely a sight to behold and no matter the time of day or night that you go, it is most certainly worth navigating through the large crowds to get to the front and make your wish! Let’s not ignore the fact that you get an incredible photo for your instagram! #nofilterneeded

The Vatican Museums, Pantheon and Sistine Chapel will have you in awe before you even get close, these buildings are a work of art themselves! sticking with sightseeing and touring, your trip is incomplete without a photo on the Spanish Steps! Venturing out, Mount Vesuvius should definitely be on your “To see list”. While in Naples, be sure to see the Royal Palace. The Italian country side boasts incredible scenery and wine tours, be sure to take a trip out to the country side!

Apparently, you only truly experience a foreign city after you get lost in it. That could not be more true! If you are someone who likes to plan and have a day’s activities set out in detail, then you might not like this next piece of “advice”… Wherever you go, Go and get lost in the city. It is sure to be one of the fondest memories of any trip! It is only then that you truly explore the city and get to see more of the “real city”. This is something that I make a point of doing in a foreign place (sounds crazy, I know!). Forget the map, no plans just you roaming the streets, being a tourist! This was the foundation for some of the best days and nights I have had and led me to meet some really friendly and interesting people, quite frankly getting lost has left me with some of the greatest memories to date! One stunning attraction that was stumbled upon while being lost was the ’Secret Key Hole’. Look through the keyhole and you are met with a breathtaking view of the St. Peter’s Dome, be sure to have a camera in hand! However, the most important thing to do in 🇮🇹 is eat as much Gelato as you possibly can… amongst all the other divine food of course!

The Amalfi coast should definitely be on your list! If you drive along the coast, there are numerous spots to stop at and enjoy the view, however if you’re lucky enough, a cruise out to sea is surely the best way to experience it, with the night spent partying on board the yacht of course! Another fabulous coastal resort town to visit is Antibes in France. Staying here allows you the flexibility of venturing into Cannes or Nice, or both! There is plenty to see, although.. simply relaxing in the sand is strictly advised! This coastal town is home to some incredible nightlife that ought to be experienced! Speaking of cities that never sleep, Barcelona!! A favourite party destination for many, home to some of the most stunning architecture and captivating culture. In Spain, make time to go out to Montserrat, take in the view, enjoy a hike or simply just appreciate how much better the air feels when you breathe there! A tour of Camp Nou should be on your to-do list, one of the largest soccer stadiums in the world, home to FC Barcelona (or as was explained to me “Lionel Messi’s home ground”). A guided tour of the stadium is well worth it. Be weary of your pockets when in Spain! Pickpocketing is rife! Another definite to see is La Sagrada Familia, you will be left speechless upon first sight of this marvel! Gaudi’s work around Barcelona have become landmarks. If you’re touring Spain, The Seville Cathedral and Santiago de Compostela Cathedral are definitely worth your time! 

One of the main things to do is of course eat and eat and eat the authentic foods that we all know and love… and shop of course! But most importantly, have fun getting lost and exploring!

Coffee Capsule of The Week!

The one appliance I have grown extremely attached to is my Nespresso machine! My life is busy and I love my daily indulgence of caffeine. This is by no means sponsored in any way but recently I discovered that the price of the capsules have been reduced making them even more affordable to have a cuppa at home while saving some money at the same time. Every week I will share the capsule that I will be using to keep me buzzing.

This week I am using my personal favourite :

Ciocattino 

This is a medium strength coffee capsule which has a full flavour and is very refreshing to begin your morning with.

The price was : R95

The price is:      R80

( I purchase my stock at the Nespresso store at Gateway,  I am unsure if prices vary at other stores).

I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions as to what you like and what I should try next!!

The Very Beginning.

As I celebrate over two years of a very fruitful marketing business. I must not forget my purpose or why I began my blog and journey into the world of social media. In August 2016 I decided to share my most personal and painful experience with you. It was the first step that I took in healing myself and regaining control of my own life. I read this story today and the tears still roll down my face uncontrollably. The difference now is that I know the impact my story of loss has made to the lives of so many others that had experienced similar difficulties. I know that from my darkness that I managed to create light and I have seen how magic happens when you share a piece of your soul. When I initially shared my story I was left feeling vulnerable and naked by exposing myself in such a way. This year I mourned ten years since my loss and it is a feeling that stilll burns. I may have not been granted the blessing of life with my first baby but I now realise that our purpose was far greater. In the depths of my sadness I found a way to express myself and  that marked the beginning of me making my mark in this world. As I relaunch my brand two and a half years later I decided to start at the very beginning by sharing my story with you. Today I stand before you as a strong woman with a purpose. I have lived through some exceptionally trying experiences and not only have I survived but I have thrived. I am not as broken as I was when I wrote this story out but I still wear my scars openly as I walk through life. I have learned to live in every moment and appreciate every blessing that I have been given. I take no one and nothing for granted because I am entitled to nothing and nothing is promised to us. This experience serves as my constant reminder.

On the 19th January 2009, I began to live out the worst nightmare of all. I was twenty weeks pregnant and was admitted to hospital the night before. I had excessive pain due to gallstones.

On that morning I went for an ultrasound of my gallbladder to determine whether it could be removed at that stage of the pregnancy. I remember clearly asking the technician if she could do a scan so that I could ogle at my baby for a few seconds. She agreed and I remember looking at the screen and thinking to myself, that my baby must be tired and having a rest. He appeared to be still and in all previous scans there was always alot of movement. The technician excused herself while I was still looking and admiring my baby on the screen. A doctor came into the room a few seconds later and he asked me if this was my first pregnancy. I smiled proudly and nodded to him. His exact words still haunt me to this day “So sorry but there is no heart beat”. I was alone in that room at the time and apparently I shrieked in horror although I honestly don’t even remember that.

I was taken to see my obstetrician immediately. He then proceeded to tell us that our baby had suffered an intrauterine death. This was possibly for as long as up to a week ago. For those of you, who like me at the time that did not know what this meant, it is when the baby dies within the womb due to a complication and your body doesn’t recognise that this has happened. This results in your body still believing that you are pregnant and not having any signs of labour or releasing the pregnancy. If you are a doctor and reading this please do not be offended by my descriptions as this is the only way it has made me come to understand of the things that happened.

The next 2 days were absolute hell as the doctors and nurses tried to induce labour. In the very early hours of January 21 2009, my body eventually complied and I delivered my sleeping baby. Oh, how my heart still bleeds when I think of that time. I was not allowed to see my baby because the medical team attending to me felt it was for the best.

Pregnancy is supposed to be the happiest time, the responsibility and excitement of bringing a new life into the world. It was the exact opposite for me at that time. I had no intention of sharing so much of my story but I know that in my heart it’s the right thing to do because somewhere out there someone may be going through something similar. My hope is that my story is able to help heal someone else’s pain.

The day I was discharged, the nurse came to me with a document to sign. The document included details giving the hospital permission to incinerate my baby. My heart breaks a million times over everytime that I think of those words. All my dreams were shattered right then and there. I realised that everything that I have planned for the days, weeks and months leading up to the birth were all gone.

I had become a complete zombie, just living through the motions of daily life. I had no appetite for food or life. I just wanted to be alone. As if I didn’t feel bad enough, after the third day, my body was still functioning as if I had given birth and I had begun lactating. It felt as if my body was making fun of me. I didn’t want to see or speak to anyone. I just wanted to be alone.

I’m writing this so that if you are going through or went through something similar that you know that you are not alone. Even if you are not ready to talk or be in contact with anyone. As painful as what I’m about to say to you is, just know that you will be okay.

Grief works differently for everyone and there is no right way to do it. I was not ready to talk about this for years and years. Take your time, only you know whether you are feeling better. Even though I have been blessed with other children, I still mourn my loss up to this day . Each child is different and they can’t be replaced by another.

I know the main aim of this blog is to promote fitness and fun but I wanted to focus on this topic today so that it can make a difference.I don’t want sympathy from this.

To the mummy reading this right now, who unfortunately can relate to my story:

Please know that it’s okay to cry and breakdown. You have to fall apart before you are ever able to come together again. When you do eventually come together and you know that you will never be exactly who you were before, know that you will carry that little soul with you everywhere, always, and even when you have other children, you will have silent moments that only you can understand that will remind you of your special sleeping child. If you going through something similar and it feels like the end of the world right now, just know that you are going to come out so much stronger from this and you will be able to handle whatever else life can throw at you and you still will prevail. For now, take this time to heal and to remember. Absorb all that you are going through and I hope that this message helps. Even if it helps in the slightest, know that you will be okay. I promise.